One of the most common reasons that property owners install skylights is to provide daylighting and/or ventilation. Recent developments in skylight design use sun-tracking, open-sided cylinders; large lens-like elements; or mirrored reflectors mounted adjacent to a conventional skylight to provide daylighting without daytime heat gain or nighttime heat loss.
You can prevent unwanted solar heat gain by installing the skylight in the shade of deciduous (leaf shedding) trees or adding a movable window covering on the inside or outside of the skylight. Exterior shades will be more effective than interior shades at reducing heat gain in summer. Skylights can be made with a special glazing that helps control solar heat gain.
The physical size of the skylight greatly affects the illumination level and temperature of the space below, as well. As a rule of thumb, the skylight size should never be more than 5% of the floor area in rooms with many windows and no more than 15% of the room's total floor area for spaces with few windows. Additionally, it’s important to consider slope and moisture control during installation. The skylight shaft also must be insulated and air-sealed in the attic.
If you want to maximize daylighting and/or passive solar heating potential, consider a skylight's position. Skylights on roofs that face north provide fairly constant but cool illumination. Those on east-facing roofs provide maximum light and solar heat gain in the morning. West-facing skylights provide afternoon sunlight and heat gain. South-facing skylights provide the greatest potential for desirable winter passive solar heat gain than any other location but often allow unwanted heat gain in the summer.
When considering the installation of a skylight, even the most energy-efficient skylight must be properly installed to ensure that it achieves its energy performance. So, it’s best to allow us to ensure that your new skylight is not only installed properly but to also implement effective, energy-efficient results from the start.
To find out more about our skylight installation options, feel free to contact us today for additional information and to see how we can construct the perfect skylight for you!
Source: Skylights (U.S. Department of Energy)